Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection

Roman Glass Beaker with Iridescence

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 26, 2019

 02R Roman Beaker With Wheel-cut Lines of Allaire Collection

Remark: The simple shape of this vessel resembles our modern drinking glasses. It is pale blue/green with iridescence. The exterior is decorated with faint wheel cut bands: three parallel lines around the center, one band near the base. This beaker has a ground rim and flattened base. The  beauty of this cup is in the natural iridescence which has formed on it.  Beaker is intact. 

Date: First Century A.D. H: 9.3 cm. Rim D: 6.5 cm. Cf. Auth 1976 #368 (The Newark Museum)

Iridescent Glass

Iris, the Greek goddess of the rainbow, lends her name to the word iridescence a lustrous, rainbow-like play of color. Iridescence was admired by modern glassmakers but was not an intentional effect made by ancient artisans. The effect was found on pieces of ancient glass where burial conditions caused alkali (soluble salt) to leach from the glass and form layers that eventually separate and flake off. The remaining surface layers reflect light differently, resulting in an iridescent appearance.  WHAT IS THE IRIDESCENCE ON ANCIENT GLASS ?

One Response

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  1. Judy Gonyeau said, on March 27, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Another great post with so much good information! I am hereby addicted.


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